…authors bashing other writers’ work?… how very dare they!…

…the other day, I read a post from my Facebook friend, the wunnerfully prolific Authoress, m’Lady, Charity Parkerson, in which she shared her annoyance at seeing some authors viciously ravaging other scribblers’ books…

…I am solidly in her corner with that sentiment… since the beginning of my own journey ten years ago into the magical mystery tour that constitutes an Author’s lot, I’ve been the recipient of fabulous support for my novels from other writers… I learned the tenet immediately that I am not in competition with other penspersons… the readership WURLD is large enuff to accommodate most of the production from our collective efforts… better it is then, by far, to encourage my fellows-in-print… very few books are written in less than months – sum’times it takes years, all of which absorbs the traditional sweat, angst, and tears and a large chunk of an author’s life… I find it extraordinary that anyone who has undergone even a fraction of that process would ever think of cutting to shreds another’s efforts… don’t mistake me, ‘criticism’ has a useful and necessary place in our industry, but I’d much prefer it be offered and received more as ‘critique’, intended to build up, rather than to tear down… it’s a given that not everyone will like my own style of writing, for example, and I in turn don’t embrace that of every single writer’s work that  I encounter… however, in the past, when I was in the habit of doing the occasional review, I refused to share publicly my review/opinion unless it was for  a minimum of four-stars or five-stars…

…I frequently reached out to others whose work rated less than that with me, offering my views and recommendations on how they might raise the standard, with the caveat that I only did so, having been through the experience myself of having others help me to improve… but, authors bashing other writers’ work?… how very dare they!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…my dream dinner guests list… prob’ly change again by next week!…

…I’ve had a lot of fun with this over the years — invite your friends to select a list of eleven people, fact or fiction, dead or alive, all to be available at the same time to join you to dinner…  who would be on your list?… every time I do it, the content changes, although a few are ‘ever-presents’... here’s this week’s list:

  1. (now, Sir) Billy Connolly
  2. Sir Winston Churchill
  3. Mother Theresa
  4. Peter Ustinov
  5. Madonna
  6. Joseph (father of Jesus)
  7. Oscar Wilde
  8. Robin Williams
  9. Dame Judi Dench
  10. Leonardo Da Vinci
  11. Sir Alex Ferguson                                                                                                                                                                                                           …the social and literary concoction, together with the humour, insights, sporting knowledge and personal anecdotes would be spellbinding… in an age where laughter is too often derived from pratfalls and cutting other people down, how refreshing would be the overwhelming wit at a table surrounded by this party… none of these people are ‘shrinking violets’...

I’ve included Churchill, not for his politics, but for his repartee, lifelong maverick attitude and behaviour, and not forgetting he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his amazing 4-volume compendium, ‘A History of the English Speaking Peoples’ I guess the dinner would extend for more than a week, and with a guest list of this calibre, that would be well worth it… however, as I acknowledged above, every time I draw up this list, I have a roster of dozens, if not, hundreds more names I could add without diminishing the superb quality of conversation and experience… as for the ‘ever-presents’, they would be the trio of Connolly, Ustinov and Churchill… how would your guest list stack up?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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… ‘that damned, elusive Pimpernel… for ‘Pimpernel’, read ‘Literary Agent’…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has been at this glorious writing game now for ten years… not so much, ‘man and boy’, more ‘man and older man’… during that time, the joys, the excitement, the much-more-ups-than-downs, have attended my creation of the wee literary masterpieces which have become the Jack Calder crime thriller series… the decade has offered me abundant blessings as an author, not the least being the successful downloads of my books over that period…

…on Auntie Amazon Kindle, the aggregate sales/downloads broke through the 100,000+ level quite a while ago… I had been engaged with a modest-sized publisher for a year along the way, but split amicably from them, as the sales volumes weren’t matching those produced through my own promotional efforts… likewise, for a short period, I linked with a newly-established publishing agent, but that relationship also didn’t generate the sort of publishing-house interest I’m currently seeking to reach the next level in my ‘business of writing’… putting aside the inherent belief that all we authors have, that my writing is good enough to attract a top-name publisher, my honest belief in the quality of my work is echoed by many independent sources (no, Mabel, not my granny!)… p’raps I’m not knocking the right doors?… not sleeping with the right people?… not appearing in the appropriate television book club shows?… whatever the cause, having 100,000+ sales under my quill, but not a whisper from a top-line Literary Agent who can introduce the magical next distribution level, seems to defy commercial logic to me… I’ve also built up over the years 36,000+ direct social network connections, the majority of which are from the universe of books – readers, writers, bloggers, editors, and others…  surely publishers want established authors with a proven following?… for any of my author friends who’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, this ol’ Keyboard Kingpin will be grateful for any sensible (but keep it legal!) advice on how to rectify this status of… ‘that damned elusive Pimpernel… for ‘Pimpernel’, read ‘Literary Agent’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…here was a Scottish football referee yeez DIDN’T dare meddle with… Tom ‘Tiny’ Wharton… #TBSU…

…here’s a rerun of a blog I wrote 4 and 1/2 years ago… enjoy…

Seumas Gallacher

41129735_tinywharton270

…even those of yeez with a brain as sharp as a billiard ball will note the relative physical stature of the man in black versus the football players in the photograph above… at 6 feet 4 inches without his studded boots, Tom Wharton was a refereeing giant… in the customary droll Scots’ affinity for affectionate hyberbole, he was more commonly known as ‘Tiny’ Wharton… for those of us of a certain age who had the pleasure of watching real football in the 50’s and 60’s, referees such as ‘Tiny’ were regarded somewhat differently to the the modern whistler lot… back then, by and large, there was a high degree of respect for the ‘man in the middle’… oh, sure, never a match passed without one set or other of fans variously bringing into question (a) the eyesight (b) the I.Q. (c) the marital status of his mother… but…

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…kids ALWAYS know better than us growed-ups how to enjoy themselves…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler is still trying to figure out what I’ll be when I eventually grow up… a status, let me say, I’ll gladly forgo for quite a while yet… it was an astounding privilege to be among a host of children this morning, showing us all how to have a great time… here in the Middle East, the bank I’m currently on assignment with decided to have a ‘family day’... and what a blast it was…

…gangs of terrific children brought their mums and dads to work… it was supposed to be the other way around, but the instant more than three kids congregate en masse, they take over whatever part of the WURLD they currently populate… the youngsters visited the respective offices of their parents to see these nebulously anonymous places where mommy and daddy disappear to every weekday, supposedly to ‘WURK’ …when that was done,  everyone gathered onto one floor, specially cleared and restocked for the event… computer terminals made way for ice-cream dispensing counters, Nutella jars, candy floss machines, biscuits, and sweets… work stations yielded space to tables for more productive activity than stupid adulting commerce… more sensible stuff like drawing, pot painting, and Lego… face-painting and a real, dressed-up, balloon-making, jester-clown were successful attractions…

…there are few, if any, things more conducive to happiness that observing sixty (yes, sixty!) children focused on having fun… kids ALWAYS know better than us growed-ups how to enjoy a day… Master Gallacher was permitted to join in the fun, and I need as much persuasion to do that as  a polar bear needs ice floes… I was treated to a variety of incredible works of art on the drawing table, accompanied by explanations on what the productions actually were!..

…I thought my writing creativity  was pretty edgy, but it’s a distant second to what comes out of the minds of these wunnerful kids… being amongst them today replugged my psyche into what’s truly important – families and children having fun!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…no, Authors… writing PERFECTION is NOT your objective…

…blasphemy?… heresy?… ravings of a mad writer?… signs of an author finally succumbing to the madness that years of tilting at imaginary characters bring?… that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler should posit that the purpose of creative writing is NOT to achieve perfection?… p’raps, Mabel, but just hold on a minute with that frantic phone call to the lunatic asylum to come and cart me away… in a lifetime of reading, my choices of literature have been as broad as can be… Steinbeck, O’Hara, Ruark, Christie, Dickens, Eco, Fitzgerald, Child, Austen, Churchill, Burns, Chaucer… an endless list of library index heroes… every name there acknowledged as classic in his or her own metier, regardless of genre… sparkling storytellers all… but equally, I have noted in many instances, flaws, sum’times, in their narratives… incomplete closure on certain endings… use of language occasionally misplaced… part of that may be attributed to less than splendid editing, but the result in these instances is … LESS THAN PERFECTION… and did it impinge negatively on my pleasure in reading them?… not one jot!… y’see, the skill in expression, the art of spinning the tale, of enticing me into their stories, of hypnotizing me into page after page is the real essence of the writer’s grail…

…of course, as a novelist myself, I try assiduously to keep my writing as free as possible from glaring grammatical or tautological error… but the primary objective is to have the reader step into the imaginary world I create… and the world itself is not prefect… over the past ten years, I have reviewed certain books by other authors… initially I would pick up on small and sum’times not so small issues in the writing… but after a while, I dismissed these and carried on with ‘getting absorbed in’ the tale… and how much better has become my enjoyment of their wee masterpieces… I read sum’where else a while ago that Life is not a Game of Prefect’… my writing is a major part of my life… ergo, My Writing is not a Game of Perfect either… thoughts, good people?…  see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…ambition – to be the youngest centenarian ever… whaaa???

…I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘Age’ and ‘Ageism’ are two of the vilest inventions that Man has ever devised… by charting the passage of time vis-a-vis how long I’ve been physically on the planet brings a mountain of potential booby traps… scientifically, I will not deny that bodily change occurs in every human being… but there’s too much emphasis on specific numbers that tick off the pile of years that I’ve survived thus far… it’s not a race to the grave… I know when any such contrived ‘race’ started for me… its called the Date of my Birth, but I have no desire to guesstimate when the ‘End Date’ is supposed to be…  my comedic God, (now Sir) Billy Connolly says, ‘don’t call me middle-aged, ‘coz that presumes I’m half way to that as yet unknown ‘End Date’… another of his other beautiful epithets covers ‘Acting your age … well, like him, I’ve never been this age before, so I’ve no idea how I’m supposed to ‘act’ it… LIVING IT IS THE THING!... when I was in my teens and twenties, I regarded folks of forty and fifty as ‘old’… then when I sailed through my own fortieth and fiftieth notches, they didn’t seem so ‘ancient’ after all… now that I’m sailing the post-sixty waters, it seems even less decrepit and crumbly… my brain still harbours enuff of the wee grey cells to let me laff and even scoff at the stupidity of ‘Ageism’…  I began writing my Jack Calder crime thrillers after my sixtieth birthday, and five of these are on Kindle, with a sixth as WIP… not bad for a guy who’s ‘past it’… I’ve retired three times in my career, but like the Mafia, ‘you try to get out, and they pull you back in again’...

 

…still happily gainfully active with my own corporate advisory firm for banks and companies in the Middle East… my writing expands apace, having added the ghostwriting of autobiographies and family histories to my activities… so, whatever the ‘Use By Date’ was, it means bollix to me, Mabel… my ambition is to be the youngest centenarian ever... see yeez later.. LUV YEEZ!

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